Revised flagship infra list now includes PPPs
Czeriza Valencia (The Philippine Star) - November 8, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Around 26 projects to be pursued via the public-private partnership (PPP) mode have been included in the revised list of flagship infrastructure projects under the government’s Build Build Build program.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said the new list of 100 flagship projects collectively valued at P4.2 trillion will include projects in transport, railways, bridges, highways, power, urban development and water.

Many of these projects will be in regions outside the National Capital Region (NCR), especially in Visayas and Mindanao.

The revised list was approved during Thursday’s joint meeting of the Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee (ICC-Cabcom) and the Infrastructure Committee (Infracom) composed of multiple agencies involved in infrastructure development.

Pernia said, however, that the list remains fluid as there are other projects of lesser scale not yet included in the list.

“This list is not cast in stone. It is a live dynamic list. Also, there are other minor projects not yet included in the list,” he said in an interview.

The 100 flagship projects will make up half of the roughly P8 trillion worth of projects under the Build Build Build program.

Presidential adviser for flagship programs Vince Dizon said the list includes the the Metro Manila Subway Project, North South Commuter Railway, Clark International Airport Expansion Project, Cebu Monorail System, Panay-Guimaras Negros Bridge, Samal Island-Davao City Connector Bridge and the Mindanao Rail Project.

In pursuing more flagship projects under PPP, Dizon said the government would “promote public interest”

“Unfortunately, PPP concession agreements executed in the past failed to promote public interest. The government has been tied to provisions such as automatic rate increases, commitments of non-interference and non-compete clauses, which strip it of its ability to require concessionaires to improve services, all of which have been detrimental to the public interest. Under the Duterte administration, such disadvantageous provisions will not be allowed,” Dizon said.

All of the 100 projects will be started under the present administration, with a significant number seen operational by 2022.

“Continuity is what is most important for President Duterte. This is why all of the 100 flagship projects will be started under his term, with a significant number completed, while some will be partially operational by 2022. The rest will have significant progress moving into the next administration,” said Dizon.

Pernia said several projects were also cleared during yesterday’s meeting. These include the Davao-Samal Bridge, New Bohol-Pangalo International Airport, Davao Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) System and Camarines Sur high speed highway.

The list of flagship projects under the government’s ambitious Build Build Build program is revised to include more but smaller projects in the region that are still “game changing.”

Instead of having 75 big-ticket projects, there will instead be around 100 flagship projects that are smaller and more doable in terms of technology and available financing.

Some of the projects that will be taken out of the list of 75 flagship projects include the Sorsogon-Samar Bridge, Leyte-Surigao Long Bridge and the Cebu-Bohol Bridge.

Pernia said those removed are “challenging and costly” to carry out at the moment because of financing and technology constraints.

ERNESTO PERNIA
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